Access to family planning services: relationship with unintended pregnancies and prenatal outcomes
Family planning services are important because they can prevent unintended pregnancies and improve prenatal outcomes. This paper uses secondary data to analyze trends in access to family planning services, with a particular focus on poor women and young women. Trends from the 1980s showed a small decline in family planning visits and an upsurge in the percentage of births that were unwanted at the time of conception. These changes were particularly marked for poor women. Over the same decade, public expenditures for contraceptive services declined dramatically. The health insurance system with respect to family planning must be modernized to meet the needs of women and couples today. Future improvements in infant health and survival will depend in large part on ensuring that pregnancies are intended and not the result of lack of access to effective family planning services.